Now, 22 years later, the Bates Motel is back in business and screams of fear are once again being heard. After two decades, Norman Bates has been released from the asylum where doctors feel sure that the delusional young man, once a brutal, psychotic killer, has been "rehabilitated." Norman returns to his mother's creaky old mansion, hoping to maintain a normal life... but his hopes are in vain.
"Norman was not convicted of murder. He was found not guilty by reasons of insanity, and since he is no longer insane, he has the right to live a normal life like you and I."
- Dr. Raymond
It's rare to come across a sequel which is nearly as good, or better, than the original. Especially if the original film is a classic juggernaut like Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho
. But somehow director Richard Franklin pulled off a sequel which should be the film every director watches before they attempt their own sequels. It's extremely entertaining, there are no plot holes and the filmmakers stay 100% faithful to the original story and the fans.
Anthony Perkins returns as the psychotic Norman Bates after 22 years in an insane asylum. He is released and returns home to begin a life without being haunted by his dear old mother. Unfortunately, after picking up a job at a local diner, Norman begins seeing his mother up in her bedroom window and mysterious notes from "Mother" begin appearing around the house and at work. Is Norman losing his grip on sanity again?
Over the past week I've been trying to decide weather or not to give away what is happening throughout the film. I usually shy away from such massive spoilers but I'm going to give this one away. The answer to the above question is... no
. Norman is being set up by the relatives of Sam Loomis, one of Normans victims 22 years earlier.
The main female role, Mary Loomis (who is smokin' hot), is the niece of Sam Loomis and is working at the diner when Norman arrives. She takes advantage of Norman to stay at his house and plant false "Mother" incidents in Normans head. She also uses her access to the house to let her mother, Lila Loomis, in to wreak even more havoc. They plant fake "Mother" notes, use a fake "Mother" voice to terrorize Norman and Lila Loomis even begins killing people to frame Norman. Of course, this is all in attempts to drive Norman crazy again and get him thrown back into custody. A classic example of revenge taking over ones better judgment.
The thing of it is, Norman actually has
been rehabilitated. He's quite likable and wins you over early in the film. You feel pity for his unfortunate past and are happy he's sorted out his inner demons. Poor ol' Normans fragile mind does begin to fail though, after the relentless mental assaults by the Loomis family. After Mary Loomis begins to realize Norman really is
in his right mind and is a kind man, her conscious takes over and she demands her mother stop his cruel torture. She tries to convince Norman is was her mother and she who were the ones behind the "Mother" incidents, but Norman's cheese has been pushed a little too far off his cracker to be yanked back. The jig is up. Norman has lost his mind again.
There is much more, but that's where I'm stopping. You have to get your own copy to experience the other fantastic twists and turns the story takes.
I could go on and on about how fantastic this film is, but I'm just going to stress how important it is for you to get a hold of this film. You're truly missing out if you don't. Director Richard Franklin even planted a fun silhouette of Alfred Hitchcock in a scene inside "Mothers" room. I grabbed a screen capture of it for you guys. Make sure to watch for it in the film. (
View it here)
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- Meg Tilly had a body double for her nude scenes.
- The book Meg Tilly is reading in the Bates house is In the Belly of the Beast by Jack Abbott. Jack Abbott was an American career criminal and the book consists of his letters to Norman Mailer about his experiences in what Abbott saw as a brutal and unjust prison system. Mailer supported Abbott's successful bid for parole in 1981, the year that In the Belly of the Beast was published.
The book was very successful and on July 19, 1981, the New York Times published a rave review of it. However, the day before, Abbott had committed murder during a row with a waiter at a restaurant called "Binibon" on 2nd Avenue in the East Village. Abbott was eventually arrested and returned to prison for the rest of his life until his suicide in 2002.
- Not based on the book of the same name.
- Meg Tilly's role name, Mary Samuels, is a reference to original Psycho. In the original film Marion Crane signs her as Marion Samuels in Bates motel. The book which Psycho is based on had Marion named as Mary.
- Director Richard Franklin has a cameo apperance playing an arcade game in the diner that Norman works in. The arcade game he is playing is called Battlezone, released in 1980 by Atari.
- The original house set was used and the motel was reconstructed.
- When Mary and Norman first go into Norman's mother's room, before they turn the lights on, you can see Alfred Hitchcock's silhouette on the wall to the far right. (See picture here)
- The reflection of young Norman Bates in the doorknob when he flashes back to his mothers' poisoning is Oz Perkins, Anthony Perkins son.
- The town of Fairvale when Lila is tailed by Dr. Raymond was the same town as in Gremlins and Back to the Future. It is located on the Universal Studios Backlot in California.
- Filmed on $5,000,000 - Grossed 32,000,000
- In the shooting script an extended scene in the Sherrif's Office at the end of the movie reveals Mary survives the gun shot and "she'll pull through okay" but goes mad.
- Norman refrains from giving Mary the key to Cabin 1. Cabin 1 was the site of the infamous shower scene in Psycho.
- The original shower head used in Psycho was suppose to be used in this film as well. However, just before filming was to commence, someone stole it.
- The piano selection Norman plays is a part of the first movement of Beethoven's Pathétique Sonata.
- Meg Tilly was never allowed to watch any sort of television as a child, and so had never seen the original Psycho and was unaware of its significance. She didn't understand why the press was giving all the attention to Anthony Perkins for his comeback role in this movie, and one day on the set Perkins overheard her say, "Why is Tony getting all the attention?" Perkins was upset, didn't talk to her during filming, and recommended that she be replaced, even though half of her scenes had already been shot.